Laura Simms

Laura Simmsa storyteller, is the director of The Gaindeh Project using story with youth in crisis throughout the world. Her new book, love stories for adults, is The Robe of Love (Codhill Press).

I recall the solitary intensity of squatting in my junior high schoolyard at lunch reading it from cover to cover I was stunned by the cruelty of the Holocaust, realizing my parents had not described what had ended only the year I was born—one of many secrets in our house. The personal account of Anne Frank, almost the same age as I was, allowed me to enter the world of fear, passions, and European Jewishness. I began keeping journals as a result, finding a means of expression that may have nurtured my becoming a writer. Unrequited love became one of my themes; going off to wars and dying another. I hid the book and my journal in my closet. I think it freed me as much as it horrified me at that time.